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Market to Metacom Climate Resiliency

Warren, Rhode Island
Date 2021
Client Town of Warren, Rhode Island with Fuss & O'Neill (Project Lead)
  • 2021 APA-RI Award for Adaptation & Economic Development Plan

Union collaborated with leaders from the Town of Warren and the lead consultant on the project, Fuss & O’Neill, to create a community plan that holistically addresses climate change challenges while promoting economic redevelopment.

Funded by a grant from the Southeast New England Program of the U.S. EPA, the plan provides strategies communities can use to adapt to climate change impacts. At the same time, the strategies are designed to foster community redevelopment, job creation, and housing production to attract private investment while improving overall climate resilience.

The team analyzed, quantified, and determined the feasibility of adaptation to climate change in the low-lying Market Street area of Warren, Rhode Island. They also looked at the opportunities for smart growth strategies in the Metacom Avenue corridor, a main road with under-utilized land and auto-centric commercial development from the 1960s.

Build-out scenarios on a variety of parcel types and sizes were tested, based on the principles of Form-Based Codes which, in contrast to conventional zoning methods, regulate building form, scale, and the relationships of buildings to one another and the street. This method allows for more diverse building types and focuses less on the separation of uses, which results in a more pedestrian-friendly streetscape.

The project engaged community residents and leaders in discussions regarding long-term retreat and ecological restoration. Together, we worked to reimagine Metacom Avenue as a true mixed-use, walkable, and sustainable neighborhood.

Aerial map of project area
Aerial map of Metacom Avenue project boundary
Conceptual plan for Metacom Avenue
Conceptual plan with potential land uses for Metacom Avenue
Existing bird’s eye view of Ocean State Job Lot property
Conceptual bird's eye drawing of potential transformation on Ocean State Job Lot property
Aerial map of Market Street project boundary
Conceptual marsh park for Market street area